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Uninor incurred Rs 48 crore cost on Mumbai operations closure

Telecom operator Uninor incurred expenses of around Rs 48 crore towards shutting down Mumbai operations in February.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2013 15:28 IST

Telecom operator Uninor incurred expenses of around Rs 48 crore towards shutting down Mumbai operations in February.

Telenor, the parent company of Uninor in 'Pre Q1 2013 estimates' said that these expenses will be shown in the first quarter financials of the current fiscal (January 13 to December 13) of the group.

"The operation in Mumbai was shut down on February 17. The shut-down costs are estimated at around NOK (Norwegian Krone) 50 million (Rs 47.8 crore as on today), and will be booked as "other item" in Q1 2013," Telenor said.

The Supreme Court in February 2012 cancelled 22 licences of Uninor. The majority stakeholder of the company, Telenor participated in November 2012 auction through new entity Telewings Communications and won spectrum in six circles.

Following the court order, Uninor said it closed its Mumbai operations from midnight of February 16.

Telenor is now operating in six circles- Maharashtra and Goa, Gujarat, UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

"According to subscriber numbers published by COAI, our remaining six circles saw a subscriber growth of 280k in January and 122k in February. Please keep in mind that these numbers are based on 60 days definition of active subscribers, whereas our financial reporting for the Indian operation applies a 30 days definition of active subscribers," Telenor said in the Pre Q1 estimates.

Telecom regulator TRAI had directed Uninor to refund within 15 days the balance amount of its subscribers in Mumabi and Kolkata where the company has closed its operations.

When contacted, a spokesperson of Uninor said they have completely refunded the balance amounts to Mumbai subscribers as per the order.

"What is more important for us is that with TRAI's permission, we were able to do this the right way - refund prepaid balances to our customers and provide MNP codes," a Uninor spokesperson said in an e-mail reply.

Telenor said it is targeting operating cash flow break-even on its Indian subsidiary operations by end of 2013.

"We are now focusing on the 6 circles where we have secured fresh spectrum. We have already achieved break-even in two of those and are targeting for all of Uninor to reach break-even within this year," the company spokesperson said.

First Published: Apr 14, 2013 15:18 IST